The Big List Blog
Social Media Ethics Briefing: Staying Out of Trouble — Live from BlogWell
3:11 –- Andy says any marketer can make media or buy advertising time, but success in social media is trust from your audience. Then, they’ll pass it along, share it with others and speak on your behalf.
3:12 –- Earning respect and social media ethics needs to come in the beginning — not later. It starts with disclosure.
3:15 –- Go back to the first time we had ads and editorial in the same publication. The difference between honesty and “sleazery” is, “And now, a word from our sponsor.” This is the law.
3:17 –- There have always been rules about false endorsements and false testimonials. They apply to social media, too. You can’t lie to people about what’s advertising and what’s editorial.
3:19 –- Three guides for safe social media outreach: 1) Require disclosure and truthfulness in social media outreach; 2) Monitor the conversation so you can correct misstatements; 3) Create social media policies and training programs.
3:20 –- To put it simply: Don’t lie to people.
3:21 –- FTC humor? The FTC said they know you’re obsessive about monitoring your brand, so you need to correct any instances of nondisclosure, etc.
3:22 –- Those are the FTCs rules. Here are Andy’s: Never pay (for Tweets, blog posts), use real disclosure, and don’t lie to your mom.
3:24 –- Don’t burn your bridge of trust by buying testimonials and reviews, and be clear about disclosure. Don’t bury it — anyone who views it should recognize that it’s a corporate marketing message.
3:25 –- Clear and conspicuous = if it’s an advertising message in social media, it must be stated up front and clear to the average reader.
3:26 –- Here are 10 Magic Words to for simple, proper disclosure: “I work for ____, and this is my personal opinion.” But you also must disclose who you are, whether or not you were paid (cash or otherwise), and if it’s an honest opinion based on real experience.
3:27 –- Even with good disclosure, asking someone to do a false review is still illegal. The person must have used your products or services to be legitimate.
3:28 –- According to Andy, the biggest risk is training failure. We need to be educated and understand what’s compliant and what’s not, otherwise things go bad.
3:30 –- It’s critical to have policies and training in place for both current and new employees. And thanks to the FTC, training shouldn’t be difficult.
3:31 –- Use the Disclosure Best Practices Toolkit on SocialMedia.org to find checklists for every situation and the ability to customize to your specific team or company.
3:33 –- Andy says this is old news – he’s been talking about it since 2007.
3:34 –- Remember, we have a chance to do something good. As marketers, we could screw it up bad but have an obligation to fix it.
3:35 –- Time to start saying “no” to questionable campaigns and raise our standards. Let’s show that we really are respectable brands.
3:36 –- When you lie in social media, “You are so busted,” says Andy. “It’s not worth it.”
3:37 –- If you have to ask, the answer it “no.” Save your brand. Save your reputation. Save your job.
Q: I’m worried about our thought-leaders in the space who aren’t familiar with these laws. Who’s responsible?
A: We’re responsible. You can always find someone in the company who will give in to the $5 campaign. We’re in denial, like we were with e-mail. It’s sleazy stuff, and we know it.
We will never, ever release your email.
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